Experimental determination of the thermal, turbulent, and rotational ion motion and magnetic field profiles in imploding plasmas

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A tutorial is presented on advances in spectroscopic diagnostic methods developed for measuring key plasma properties in pulsed-power systems such as Z-pinches, magnetized-plasma compression devices, ion and electron diodes, and plasma switches. The parameters measured include the true ion temperature in Z-pinch implosions, which led to a discovery that much of the ion kinetic energy at stagnation is stored in hydrodynamic rather than in thermal motion. This observation contributed a new important insight into the understanding of the ion thermalization at stagnation and stimulated further investigations of turbulence at stagnation, discussed here too. The second part of this tutorial is devoted to the development of measurements for magnetic-field distributions in Z-pinches and in other pulsed-power systems, as well as their use in studying the plasma dynamics, resistivity, and pressure and energy balance. The latter study raises intriguing questions on the implosion process. In particular, in Z-pinches, the current during stagnation was found to largely flow at relatively large radii, outside the stagnation region. The magnetic-field measurements also enable investigations into the compression of a pre-magnetized cylindrical plasma that uncover striking phenomena related to the current flow, where the current was found to redistribute toward the outer regions during the implosion. Observation of the rotation of the magnetized plasma is also discussed. Finally, experimental and theoretical investigations of a non-diffusive fast penetration of magnetic field into a low-density plasma, including its effect on the plasma dynamics, are described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060901
Number of pages21
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number6
StatePublished Online - 26 Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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